Posted by DRC on March 01, 2005
In Reply to: Re: DEAD MANS HAND? Poker saying... origins? posted by ESC on February 27, 2005
: : Hi folks! Started watching lots of late night poker on Sky, and have noticed when someone gets a full house of 3 aces and two 8's, they call it a dead mans hand. Does anyone know the reason? I have a bet on that it is something to do with the wild west and being shot while holding these cards. Could be wrong, can you help.
: Here's what it says in the archives:
: "Aces and eights" is known as the dead man's hand in stud poker. The phrase dates back to the murder of James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok by Jack McCall in Deadwood, Dakota Territory on Auust 2, 1876. After he was shot in the back of the head, "the famous gunman's stiffening fingers revealed his two pair -- aces and eights."
: source - "Triggernometry" by Eugene Cunningham
A little more info. Apparently, "Wild Bill" always sat with his back to a wall in order to keep people from sneaking up on him. However on the day of the poker game he was forced to take a seat facing away from the door.
Just proves it pays to be parinoid.